Every writer knows how lonely being a writer can get. You spend hours by yourself, playing with imaginary people on paper. Luckily, most of us have writing groups or writing buddies who we can "talk shop" to about how dreadful being a writer can be. And there are plenty of writer's conferences out there, even in Hawaii.
Publishers aren't so lucky. I can talk to my writing friends about my slush pile and how much shipping costs are impacting the long term growth of my business, but all they can do is nod and say, "Yeah. That must suck. Hey, how's the writing going?"
Publishers need like-minded peers as much as writers do, which is why I joined Northern California Publishers and Authors. Based in Sacramento, California, NCPA is an organization which provides support, advice, information, and opportunities for networking with other publishers. There's an informative website, a newsletter, and an active list-serve where I can chat with fellow publishers about the trials and tribulations of publishing. Once a year they throw a conference where we all get together in person, get the latest info from experts, and see what each of us has been working on. The next conference is tomorrow and I'm really looking forward to it.
I think ALL publishers, especially new publishers, should join a publishing association, especially a local group. There are many organizations throughout North America, most of them affiliated with Small Publishers Association of North America. Go to the SPAN website to find a group in your area.
And it doesn't have to be in your town. Even though Sacramento is three hours away, I still get a lot out of my membership, especially through the list-serve. And going to the conference once a year is like going to a family reunion, one where the kids the grown-ups are bragging about are books. We show off our book covers and discuss our projects, all with the same gleam in the eye as any proud parent. "Yep, my book just won an honorable mention in the IPPY."
I wonder if there's a publishing conference in Hawaii?